Hundreds of lives
will be saved thanks to two new emergency projects being funded by the ITF
Seafarers’ Trust and delivered through two Indian-based seafarers’ unions.
The support from
the ITF Seafarers’ Trust for oxygen concentrators and emergency supplies for
affected seafarers and their families comes as India’s health system teeters on
the brink of collapse in the wake of the country’s unprecedented Covid-19
The two grants total £215,000 GBP ($305,085 USD).
The National Union
of Seafarers of India (NUSI) will use its network of branches across the
country to deliver the oxygen concentrators free of charge to seafarers and
their families. The initiative is part of a wider union project to increase the
number of ventilator beds in government hospitals.
A second grant
from the ITF Seafarers’ Trust will fund supplies for Indian seafarers and their
families who are experiencing hardship during lockdown or in periods of
quarantine. The Forward Seamen’s Union of India (FSUI) will coordinate getting
logistical support and essential goods to seafarers in locked down ports, as
well as providing assistance to families who have lost loved ones to the virus.
“Last year Indian
seafarers’ unions were at the forefront of getting emergency supplies and hand
sanitizers to seafarers as the pandemic was just beginning,” said Katie
Higginbottom, Head of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust.
“ ITF Seafarers’
Trust is proud to support unions stepping up to save as many lives as possible
and reduce the hardship being faced by Indian seafarers and their families,”
of NUSI Abdulgani Y. Serang said “People all over India, including seafarers,
have been trying to source oxygen cylinders or oxygen concentrators for
themselves or their loved ones so that they can battle this virus at home. The
hospitals, too, need more of these machines – many patients cannot get oxygen
beds and lives are being lost,” he said. “This grant will save hundreds of
lives,” said Serang..
Many seafarers have tested positive, and many have died. Too many
have tested positive, and many have died. Too many. We are doing our best to
provide the necessary support to seafarers’ families in very challenging
circumstances,” said Manoj Yadav, General Secretary of the FSUI .
Indian outbreak threatens to worsen crew change crisis
“New restrictions targeting Indian seafarers
will worsen the crew change crisis. We need systems that get Covid-negative and
fully vaccinated seafarers onto ships to relieve crews who have been onboard
for far too long,” said David Heindel, chair of the International Transport
Workers’ Federation (ITF) Seafarers’ Section.
“Our hearts go out to our brothers and sisters
in India,” said Heindel.
grants show that labour representatives are prepared to do whatever we can to
reduce the impact of the virus. But the long-term solution remains universal
access to vaccines for all seafarers by everyone doing their part: government,
union, business; simultaneously and globally.”
National Covid outbreaks will continue to happen until the whole world
has this virus under control
outbreaks like that being seen in India right now will continue to happen until
the whole world has this virus under control, worsening the crew change crisis
and risking essential supply chains. No one is safe until we are all safe,”